elle vice chairman Willy Ocier said that the bulk of the us$ 650 million that Belle has allocated for the casino project will be spent this year alone, as it eyes to start operation of the casino by mid-2014. ”We will be spending almost us$ 650 million also. By the end of this year, we probably would have spent us$ 580 million already for us, Belle only,” Ocier said.
He also said that the opening of the casino project will be “some time in 2014,” or “probably June or July or mid-2014.” Ocier specified that there’s no need for fund-raising on their part since the us$ 650 million is “fully funded on our part.” “Melco Crown is fully funded and we are able to go,” he added.
According to him, the hotel and casino project, which will still be named Belle Grande, will have more than 920 rooms when it opens. ”With the opening of Solaire, everybody will see how nice it is. Theoretically, the next casino to open should be better than Solaire,” Ocier said referring to Bloomberry Resorts’ recently opened hotel and casino development Solaire Manila, which is the first of four casinos to rise in the Entertainment City. ”It is not just casinos but whole lot of entertainment. All in support of the tourism industry in the Philippines,” Ocier added. Several days ago, Belle’s deal with Melco Crown was finally settled as Belle concluded its cooperation agreement with its foreign partner for the casino complex in Entertainment City, Parañaque.
In a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange, Belle, together with its wholly-owned unit Premium Leisure and Amusement (PLAI), closed the transactions contemplated by the cooperation agreement that was signed last year with MCE Leisure, MCE Holdings (Philippines) and MCE Holdings No.2 (Philippines), each an indirect subsidiary of Melco Crown, a company listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The cooperation agreement includes the execution of an operating agreement for the operation of the us$ 1-billion integrated casino, hotel, retail and entertainment complex in Belle’s property in the government-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming’s Entertainment City complex.